North American Harvard
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Here is Revell's 1/48 T-6 Texan.
Because I am a modeller of Australian subjects, I finished this model as
a Harvard operated by 3 Sqn RAAF as part of the Desert Air Force in
1942. A Harvard used by an operational Squadron I hear you say?
For a short period in 1942 three Harvards were issued to 239 Wing (3 &
450 Sqn RAAF and 112 & 250 Sqn RAF (P-40 Kittyhawk) for what was
described as ‘Wing Training’. This training encompassed check-out
flights for new pilots, ferrying pilots to pick up replacement aircraft
and converting RAF trained “3 pointer” pilots to “wheel landings” more
commonly used in US aircraft.
All 3 aircraft carried RAF serials, being AJ944, AJ844 and AJ845.
Other than a few photos of 845 and 944, and some personal log book
entries from personalities such as Bobby Gibbes not much more is known
of the history of these aircraft, particularly after they left the
The Revell reissue of the old Monogram AT-6 the kit is cheap, does
show signs of age, but is probably one of the most accurate and detailed
Monogram ever produced. It is moulded in bright yellow plastic with
little flash. It does though have raised panel lines and surface
details, including rivets. Built straight from the box a very acceptable
finish can be achieved, but I decided to make some improvements.
The kit cockpit was simply enhanced with some scratch built plumbing and
wiring along with some masking tape harnesses and PE buckles. The seats
were also thinned to scale and the rear seat had its top reshaped to a
more accurate outline.
The entire exterior was sanded and rescribed. The boarding steps were
made from styrene, as were all of the control surface actuators. Fuel
tank caps were drilled out, and the moulded tail wheel assembly was
replaced with brass rod and a wheel from the spares box. The extended
exhaust is brass tube and the pito is hypodermic tubing. Main wheels
were replaced with resin ones from a long since demised LTD Boomerang.
Finally monofilament was used to create the HF antennae and some careful
painting and dry brushing completed the kit engine.
Finished as AJ845 the kit was painted using Modelmaster and Humbrol
enamels and sealed with Future.
Decals are all from the spares box and the final flat coat comes from
the Floquil Railroad Colors line.
Australia’s Warbird scene has a flying example of AJ944. Based in
Melbourne and owned by John Rayner its appearance in the stunning desert
livery in 1998 certainly turned a few heads. Many photos of this
aircraft and ones of the original can be found in the references.
Classic Wings Downunder Magazine Vol 4 No
1 Jan-Mar 1997 pp 28-35,
Classic Wings Downunder Magazine Vol 5 No
3 1998 pp 55-57 (article on flying aircraft),
Flightpath Magazine Vol 10 No 1 Aug-Oct
1998 pp26-37 (aircraft on cover),
Flypast Magazine May 2001 pp 46-48.
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Page Created 21 May, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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